The Trick Some Companies Use to Claim their Products are Natural

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In a competitive environment where companies are jostling for position to prove their eco-friendly bonafides, it’s important for consumers—and that includes spa owners themselves—to look at brands’ claims with a critical eye.

“When we studied the market, because it’s really been flooded in the last few years, we realized that a lot of companies were claiming things that aren’t typically in nail formulas, like parabens or fragrances,” says SpaRitual’s Shel Pink. Instead of fact-checking, though, SpaRitual chose to use its platform as a teaching tool. “We decided to say, ‘OK, we’re free of all those things too,’ and then when we have the opportunity, explain that a lot of these ingredients you wouldn’t typically find in nail-lacquer formulas anyway.”

It would be easy to presume that rival brands were boasting in bad faith, but Pink prefers the positive take. “It’s become a little bit of one-upmanship,” she says, “but overall, the big picture is that everyone is just trying to push the conversation forward. It’s fantastic that the demand is there, finally.” With all this green-beauty talk, it’s easy to go overboard, but owners and formulators shouldn’t lump all synthetics together.

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“Remember, natural is not always best—both natural and synthetic ingredients can be questionable and even toxic,” says Synergie Skin’s Terri Vinson. “If a particular ingredient is a laboratory-made synthetic—say, peptides to minimize the appearance of wrinkles—and doesn’t present as a questionable or potentially toxic ingredient, then it is, in my opinion, a perfectly valid addition to a product.”



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